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Old 06-13-2017, 02:30 PM
 
2,717 posts, read 698,844 times
Reputation: 6967

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OP, this is timely for me. Yesterday in tai chi class, which is a quiet, meditative class just like yoga, someone's phone went off. Okay, this happens. People forget to turn their phones off. But the newest way of responding to this, as opposed to a couple of years ago, when the owner would rush to turn it off and silence it is...not responding at all. The phone rang eight to ten times. It stopped. The caller may have called back a minute later. Same thing. The ring tone was distinctive. There weren't more than 15 people in the class. The phone sounded like it was located right behind a few of the people. Finally one of the guys stopped and picked up his phone, possibly turning it off at that point.

I have no idea why he wouldn't have turned it off. Yes, we were in the midst of moving, but he was within a foot of the phone and it's not like the movements were that fast or that difficult that he couldn't have stopped. Did he not recognize his ring tone? Too lazy to walk a foot and turn it off? Embarrassed that he had forgotten? Didn't care about disturbing the teacher and fellow students? I have no idea. None of those scenarios are great, so I tried to have compassion for him that he wasn't coming from the best spot. It did disturb my concentration and equanimity but I tried not to think evil thoughts about him.

But after class I went up to the instructor and asked if she could ask people to make sure their phones are off, as yoga instructors typically do. (This doesn't assure that people don't forget to turn them off.) Although I have never complained/requested anything in my four years of taking this class, it's as if she immediately turned the problem around on me---that I was the problem for having difficulty with this. I got the spiel about how meditative practice is supposed to help you focus regardless on what is going on around you, like if outdoors as tai chi is often performed you don't let a bird disturb you. Okay, I get it. That's the goal. But I'm not there yet. If I was I wouldn't be needing to take the class and practice. I acknowledged that maintaining equanimity is the goal, but that it is desirable for people to show consideration for their classmates and observe reasonable etiquette. She just shrugged.

For some reason this guy's behavior was completely acceptable and I was being treated as a malcontent for just speaking up to her after class! I don't get it. It's not like I complained about someone's phone ringing---people forget. But the not turning it off was a decision to not be bothered, without a thought as to whether it was bothering anyone else. I have no idea why I was expected to suck up his behavior and his preference to not silence his phone, but he is not expected to suck up my "complaining" behavior/request and my preference for treating the class as it's meant to be: a one hour retreat from technology and noise!
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:46 PM
 
9,542 posts, read 4,838,122 times
Reputation: 32943
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
But after class I went up to the instructor and asked if she could ask people to make sure their phones are off, as yoga instructors typically do. (This doesn't assure that people don't forget to turn them off.) Although I have never complained/requested anything in my four years of taking this class, it's as if she immediately turned the problem around on me---that I was the problem for having difficulty with this. I got the spiel about how meditative practice is supposed to help you focus regardless on what is going on around you, like if outdoors as tai chi is often performed you don't let a bird disturb you. Okay, I get it. That's the goal. But I'm not there yet. If I was I wouldn't be needing to take the class and practice. I acknowledged that maintaining equanimity is the goal, but that it is desirable for people to show consideration for their classmates and observe reasonable etiquette. She just shrugged.
It's possible that the ringing phone was planned. How will you practice tuning out distractions if you don't have any distractions?
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:35 PM
 
2,717 posts, read 698,844 times
Reputation: 6967
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
It's possible that the ringing phone was planned. How will you practice tuning out distractions if you don't have any distractions?
Don't think it was planned. You do have a point. When I took a meditation class we were in a closed room and there was a baby crying outside (definitely not planned--it was in a medical facility) and we learned to concentrate around it. We've been disrupted by janitorial staff there and we worked around it, but that couldn't be helped (they needed to do their job and leave).

This helped me realize that I really haven't been enjoying this class (yoga is my thing, but not tai chi). I was on edge trying to follow the instructions, so that made it harder. And this helped me acknowledge that this class isn't for me (I've tried to like it for 4 years), so it actually worked out at the end.

But reading about this online, it has become a thing in yoga and other meditation/exercise classes that people just let their phones ring until they stop. There was a humorous article about how the phone owners pray that their batteries will suddenly die or glare at someone else pretending that it's the other person's phone!
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,434 posts, read 14,098,432 times
Reputation: 29839
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy12345678 View Post
I don't understand this attitude of "Suck it up and just deal with it, quit complaining" or "It's not like you can change it anyway, so why complain about it" or any other sentiment equal to that. Why is there is pervasive idea that you are powerless to change anything so it does no good to bring up a valid complaint about it? It's people who think like that that cause most of the world's problems, or at least allow them to continue unimpeded. They say to themselves "Well, I can't do anything about it, so I'm not even going to mention it", so nothing gets done, and everything stays the same because everyone is too timid to actually stand up and do something about it.

Also, where is this line drawn between "things we can't change" and "things we can change"? They tell people "quit blaming your problems on others and take responsibility" but people are unwilling to take responsibility and stand up against BS because "Complaining doesn't do any good, anyways". I hear them say all the time "Complaining about things you can't change does no good" but I think they see it as "Nothing's ever going to change, so don't complain about ANYTHING"

Also, there's this idea that people need to "man up" and "not take crap from anyone and stand up for themselves", but if they find themselves in a situation worth complaining about, they're supposed to "just suck it up and stop whining". Seems like two contradictory opinions there? I've heard it said before "We all deal with things we don't like, suck it up and keep it to yourself" Maybe if we actually said something about it, something might actually change? I know, I have some crazy ideas.

Could someone please explain the thought process behind this idea?
Constant complainers are a real drag. I think that is who people are referencing when they say quit complaining and take action. I don't recall anyone saying in my hearing, quit complaining about something you cannot change.

In a team setting, when everyone is stressed, a little complaining cements solidarity. You are all experiencing the same thing. So there is complaining. But constant complaining is very draining to anyone who has to listen to it. And when someone complains about something they never address, then people become doubly tired of it.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:16 PM
 
5,993 posts, read 2,755,800 times
Reputation: 15161
OP- the insensitivity runs rampant when the "suck it up and grow a pair" gurus arrive. I tune them out as they are deterrents to healthy listening and validating the concerns.

Once confidence is gained you'd be amazed how you can influence outcomes to problems or be apart of the solutions. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you can't change that you get a diagnosis from a doctor that changes your entire life. Nor am I one to look a person in the eye when such happens and say...gosh jeepers at least its NOT XYZ ( dismissing a persons reality is brutal).

But how can it be changed? It can't...there in lays the challenge to adapt...so maybe strengthening adaptations IS changing things?
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,047 posts, read 10,334,972 times
Reputation: 15671
Some people think complaining is a participation sport.

Then there are the chronic malcontents...
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Colorado
11,526 posts, read 7,149,223 times
Reputation: 20742
My Mother has a habit of pouring forth not only a tale of woe, but a litany of woes, every time anyone talks to her. And if any solutions are suggested, she will explain why they won't help.

Clearly, you just want to have your problems. So...fine. Have them. To quote a regular in another forum I frequent, "I'm sorry you struggle."

I sometimes complain at length, but I try to do it in a funny way. Like I told a story about how my stupid car alarm wouldn't stop going off, and finally it did and I went to bed, and then at 2am, I heard it again and ran out in my shorts and tank top, barefoot, in the rain, only to discover that it was another car across the street. I "complain" lightheartedly in the form of telling a story. Or I vent to specific people that I know will understand. But I make it clear that I already have a course of action in mind and I am only there to vent, not to solicit advice.

I understand how frustrating it is when people think you're asking for advice, and try to give it, and then you refute them all or don't listen. So I do try to make it clear when I'm just blowing off steam, or joking around.

However, while I don't have it in me to make a public scene, I've witnessed countless times when someone would complain to management about some problem with a product or service, and got something free out of it, or whatever...if something really is intolerable, I will try to get it remedied, but I always apologize for being a bother. The whole, ragey, "I wanna speak to your manager!!" just...isn't my style.

Now if I'm really in a bind and don't see a solution, I will "complain" about it to others, and sometimes they will have useful suggestions that I didn't think of, and that are helpful to me. Or just a bit of loving social support from close friends, which gives me the strength to bear my burdens.

Sometimes complaining is useful. Sometimes it's funny, or it's social bonding over common experiences. I only find it annoying when someone is overwhelmingly negative all the time, or acts in ways I find embarrassing to be seen with.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:10 PM
 
16,988 posts, read 20,549,176 times
Reputation: 33950
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
OP, this is timely for me. Yesterday in tai chi class, which is a quiet, meditative class just like yoga, someone's phone went off. Okay, this happens. People forget to turn their phones off. But the newest way of responding to this, as opposed to a couple of years ago, when the owner would rush to turn it off and silence it is...not responding at all. The phone rang eight to ten times. It stopped. The caller may have called back a minute later. Same thing. The ring tone was distinctive. There weren't more than 15 people in the class. The phone sounded like it was located right behind a few of the people. Finally one of the guys stopped and picked up his phone, possibly turning it off at that point.

I have no idea why he wouldn't have turned it off. Yes, we were in the midst of moving, but he was within a foot of the phone and it's not like the movements were that fast or that difficult that he couldn't have stopped. Did he not recognize his ring tone? Too lazy to walk a foot and turn it off? Embarrassed that he had forgotten? Didn't care about disturbing the teacher and fellow students? I have no idea. None of those scenarios are great, so I tried to have compassion for him that he wasn't coming from the best spot. It did disturb my concentration and equanimity but I tried not to think evil thoughts about him.

But after class I went up to the instructor and asked if she could ask people to make sure their phones are off, as yoga instructors typically do. (This doesn't assure that people don't forget to turn them off.) Although I have never complained/requested anything in my four years of taking this class, it's as if she immediately turned the problem around on me---that I was the problem for having difficulty with this. I got the spiel about how meditative practice is supposed to help you focus regardless on what is going on around you, like if outdoors as tai chi is often performed you don't let a bird disturb you. Okay, I get it. That's the goal. But I'm not there yet. If I was I wouldn't be needing to take the class and practice. I acknowledged that maintaining equanimity is the goal, but that it is desirable for people to show consideration for their classmates and observe reasonable etiquette. She just shrugged.

For some reason this guy's behavior was completely acceptable and I was being treated as a malcontent for just speaking up to her after class! I don't get it. It's not like I complained about someone's phone ringing---people forget. But the not turning it off was a decision to not be bothered, without a thought as to whether it was bothering anyone else. I have no idea why I was expected to suck up his behavior and his preference to not silence his phone, but he is not expected to suck up my "complaining" behavior/request and my preference for treating the class as it's meant to be: a one hour retreat from technology and noise!
Is the instructor young? I would find another class.

Yoga or tai chi should be in a quiet soothing environment. That's why people go. You had a very good reason to speak up.

My guess about the phone owner? He didn't want to make known it was his phone, if he had any consideration or SMARTS he would have owned up right away. Anyone can forget to turn off their phone but you own up to it and take care of it.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:52 PM
 
Location: OHIO
2,297 posts, read 1,037,351 times
Reputation: 5252
I love a good venting session. It helps me clear my head, get things off my chest, see things from a different perspective and problem solve. My best friend and I complain to each other, listen, give advice and move on. We feel a lot better after. Everybody complains about something at some point. In fact, I hear people complain about people who complain

Do some people do it way too much? Of course, I won't deny that. I have a friend who complains about how HORRIBLE his life is via social media all the time... it does get old.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:44 AM
 
520 posts, read 208,910 times
Reputation: 683
Here's my take on this subject. Of course, lots of people love to complain about lots of things. When someone says don't complain about things you can't change, I believe they're referring to things like highway traffic, cold winters, the attitude of their boss/co-workers. These are situations where there's not much you can do to fix the problem, so you either need to learn to deal with it or leave your environment completely.

Whereas, if people constantly complain because they don't have enough money, but then refuse to look for a better paying job, it is their problem because they CAN do something but won't. Or you whine that you get bad grades in school, but you never study. You get the idea.

More people need to take the time to think about their complaints and either make the changes to fix the problem, or learn to accept it, depending on which makes more sense.
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